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Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Four and OH!

It is rare that anything happens in life four straight times. It is especially noteworthy in sports. Parody in modern sports often prevents anything from happening in perpetuity.

This is more telling when four straight losses occur. The Buffalo Bills lost four consecutive Super Bowls  from the 1990 through 1993 NFL season. Nick Anderson of the Orlando Magic missed four consecutive free throws at the end of Game 1 of the 1995 NBA Finals against the Houston Rockets. Instead, the Rockets were able to tie the score, send the game into overtime and win en route to an NBA Championship.

Politics is the ultimate sport. Democrat Williams Jennings Bryan had four unsuccessful runs for president - three times as the Democratic nominee (1896, 1900, 1908) and once receiving votes at the Democratic National Convention but failing to secure the party nomination (1912).


Then there is the 0-4 of The Daily Hat Trick. From the Sweet 16 round on, I picked the Connecticut Huskies to lose four straight times, the last time being Monday morning. I was wrong four straight times. The Connecticut Huskies beat the Kentucky Wildcats, 60-54, to win the 2014 NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

The was of course another occurrence that marked the fourth consecutive happening. The Huskies won their fourth NCAA Basketball Championship Game in four attempts (1999, 2004, 2011, 2014) - a perfect 4-0 in the final game of the Final Four.

Led by senior point guard Shabazz Napier, the Most Outstanding Player of the 2014 NCAA Tournament, the Huskies never trailed in the title game. Second year Head Coach Kevin Ollie won his first NCAA Championship. The incredible run of the eighth seeded Wildcats, who defeated then-undefeated Wichita State, defending National Champion Louisville, 2013 national runner-up Michigan, and #2 seed Wisconsin, came to an end.

This tournament featured more close games than in recent memory. Many deserving teams threw their hats into the ring, but only one team could survive through six rounds of the Big Dance. To the victor goes the spoils. The Huskies have further cemented their brand as an elite college basketball program.

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